Today I am excited to guest post for Dusty for the ABC’s of Bible Study for Children. I am Karyn and I blog at Teach Beside Me. Today’s post is U is for Unleavened Bread. I had fun researching this topic and deciding what to use in this post. As I have been preparing for this, I have been teaching my kids along the way different things that I was reading. It was fun to help them gain an understanding of this topic. So, my post is focused on scriptures and activities you can use to teach your kids the meaning and symbolism of unleavened bread. If you are not familiar with the term Unleavened Bread, it is bread that has not leavening agents in it, such as yeast. There is a lot of symbolism behind it, though, and I will share that with you today. I really love unleavened bread and have been making it for years. I have a yummy (EASY) unleavened bread recipe for you as well!
When I was in college I had the privilege of spending a semester abroad in Israel and studying the Bible there. It was a powerful and life changing event for me and one that has really stayed with me over the years. I learned so many amazing things and loved learning and seeing what so many of the symbols of the Bible mean. One powerful memory to me was having a Sunday service at the Sea of Galilee that included the sacrament (bread and water). The bread was a flat, unleavened bread passed on a plate. At that moment it made me think of the last supper with Christ and I felt such an overwhelming feeling of love of the Savior’s sacrifice. It was such a special moment for me. Sharing memories and pictures of this time with my kids has been a great way for me to teach them Bible stories.
Why is Unleavened Bread Significant?
It all begins with Moses and the story of the Israelites in Egypt. Read this story with your children so they can understand what it means. Moses was called by God, to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. The Pharaoh of Egypt was not willing to let his slaves go. We all know the familiar story of the different miracles that Moses performed to try and convince the Pharaoh of God’s power. The water was turned to blood, there were plagues of frogs, lice, and flies, diseases on the cattle, boils on all of the Egyptians, hailstorms destroyed the crops, locusts and even three days of darkness (Exodus chapters 7-10). Even after all of these the Pharaoh would not change his mind. The final plague was that the first born son in all of Egypt would die.
Jehovah provided a way that the firstborn children of the Israelites could be saved by slaying a lamb without blemish, a male of the first year, and by putting its blood on the sides and top of the door frame at the entrance to their homes. The Lord promised that the destroying angel would pass over the homes wherever the sign of the blood was found. The Lord also said that in killing this lamb, its bones were not to be broken (see Exodus chapter 12). These instructions foreshadowed the death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who was the Firstborn of the Father. The blood of this lamb was a symbol for the blood of Christ, which was shed as a ransom for sin. And as Jesus hung on the cross, the soldiers declined to break His legs (John 19:36).
They were also instructed that night to eat a Passover meal. They were to eat with their loins girded, shoes on their feet, staff in their hand, and eat quickly so they were ready to leave Egypt. The lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Unleavened bread contains no yeast and can therefore be baked without waiting for it to rise. It may also convey the idea that they were to be free of corruption, for leaven or yeast was used as a symbol of corruption. Jesus warned his disciples of “the leaven of the Pharisees” (Matt. 16:6), meaning their corrupt teachings. And as said in Corinthians chapter 5, a little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump. Unleavened bread may also be symbolic of Christ, who is the Bread of Life, in whom there is no impurity (see John 6:35). The bitter herbs reminded them of their slavery in Egypt and may also be a symbol of the bitterness of sin.
The Lord saved the firstborn of the faithful Israelites from death, and then claimed them as His. He commanded that their firstborn sons be dedicated to Him and that their firstborn male animals be sacrificed to Him. We are similarly indebted to Jesus Christ. We serve Him, for we “are bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20). The Passover is a symbol that teaches us what Jesus Christ has done to bring salvation to all mankind.
Teaching Children About Unleavened Bread:
- Read the scripture passages about Moses and the Israelites in Exodus together.
- Read about Christ and his crucifixion. Compare the symbols.
- Make Unleavened Bread together. See recipe below.
- Color pages about Moses and about the Last Supper. Bible Printables has some as well as Hello Kids.
- Hold your own Passover feast with your children.
I made a simple U is for Unleavened Bread printable page for you to use with your kids!
Unleavened Bread Recipe:
2 c. flour
2/3 c water (or more if needed)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Mix together and knead well. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Preheat a large baking sheet in the oven while it is heating. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Dust the counter with flour and roll out very thin. Prick with a fork about 20 times on each side. This keeps it from rising at all. If you do not prick it, the bread will turn out more like pita bread. Place the dough on the heated baking sheet and bake about 3 minutes, flip over and bake another 3 minutes until lightly golden. Remove to a cooling rack. lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt if desired.
I don’t have a picture of it finished because we ate it too quickly!! It is delicious with hummus!